HSBC will move its UK retail business to Birmingham in the next four years, restoring the bank’s links to the region which date back to the early 19th century.


Around 1,000 staff will head north from London to Birmingham by 2019, when new rules forcing banks to erect a firewall between their personal and business banking operations, and their investment banks.

The move will see HSBC’s UK retail bank, which is formed largely from the old Midland Bank it acquired in 1992, return to its Birmingham roots. The company was founded on Union Street, Birmingham in 1836 before later moving its headquarters to London.

HSBC said it was in “advanced negotiations” to acquire a lease at Arena Central, a new office block in central Birmingham, and had chosen the city after considering a number of locations. The bank said a review had determined that London was not the best place to headquarter its retail business, given its diverse spread across the UK.

Birmingham is already a major financial services centre. HSBC has around 2,500 staff there and Deutsche Bank set up a trading floor in the city in 2013.